2021 Cal/OSHA Summit

October 13 - October 15, 2021 | Hilton San Diego Mission Valley, San Diego, CA

Pre-Conference Workshops

October 13, 2021
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (refreshment break from 10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.)
Workers’ Compensation and Return to Work for EHS professionals: Managing Claims and Controlling Costs Through Safety Initiatives

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, California employers have another obstacle to overcome when handling workers’ compensation claims: proving employees didn’t contract the virus at the workplace.

In September 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law that establishes a workers' compensation presumption that will apply to most employers in the state that have a COVID-19 outbreak through 2022. The law, SB 1159, will shift the burden of proof to presume that covered workers who contracted COVID-19 did so at work, unless the employer can prove otherwise.

When an employee is injured or suffers an illness, whether the cause is occupational or not, it’s important for the safety and HR teams to evaluate when, and in what capacity, the worker can return to work, either to full duty or with light-duty restrictions or other accommodations.

By returning the worker to duty sooner, you may reduce workers’ compensation exposure in the event the employee’s condition is due to an industrial injury or occupational exposure to a harmful agent. But, on the other hand, if an employee returns to work too soon, he or she may be at risk for reinjury. Plus, it’s important to balance your organization’s practical considerations with your legal obligations and rights under California and federal law.

This intensive session is designed to walk you through the return-to-work process here in California so you’re prepared to deal with potential challenges associated with administering fitness-for-duty examinations and providing accommodations.

You’ll learn:

• How COVID-19 exposure can impact workers’ compensation claims;
• The ins and outs of SB 1159 and its reporting requirements;
• What the “rebuttable presumption” is and how it will apply if a COVID-19 "outbreak" occurs;
• The types of medical information available to employers and what’s off limits;
• How to tell if a worker is or is not eligible to return to work;
• Your obligation to grant reasonable accommodations under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act;
• Legal strategies for managing injured or sick employees’ return to work; and
• Requirements under the California Family Rights Act, including the granting of medical leaves of absence and medical privacy concerns.

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Lunch On Your Own
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (refreshment break from 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.)
Cal/OSHA 101: Understanding and Complying with the Nation’s Strictest Workplace Safety Laws

When considering the effectiveness of workplace safety regulations, some debate whether strong standards alone are sufficient to protect workers, or whether strong standards are of little value without equally strong enforcement. These questions often come up when comparing the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Cal/OSHA, and, at least in the area of standard-setting, Cal/OSHA is significantly stricter than its federal counterpart.

When comparing federal OSHA and Cal/OSHA, it is important to emphasize that states generally have fewer obstacles to overcome in issuing regulations of any type than a federal agency, which must account for greater state-by-state diversity, demands from many more stakeholders, and pressure from more political leaders.

With that being said, Cal/OSHA has been aggressive in issuing standards that either are more stringent than federal OSHA’s baseline standards or have no federal counterpart at all. As a safety professional, you must stay on top of the changing landscape surrounding Cal/OSHA, and that means knowing the ins and outs of the law and how to comply with the nation’s strictest workplace safety law.

This informative session will cover the key differences between Cal/OSHA and federal OSHA and gives a broad overview of the basic steps to building a Cal/OSHA-compliant safety program.

We’ll also cover:

• The unique Cal/OSHA enforcement priorities and processes;
• How to handle frequent agency inspections;
• The Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) and other written plan requirements;
• Compliance with new standards, such as indoor heat hazards and heat stress; and
• Training techniques to remain in compliance.

Main Conference - Day 1

October 14, 2021
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Registration & Breakfast with Exhibitors
8:30 a.m. - 8:35 a.m.
Welcome Remarks
8:35 a.m. - 9:35 a.m.
Session 1 - Important Cal/OSHA Updates for 2022: Enforcement Trends, Regulatory Developments, and How to Close Your Compliance Gaps

COVID-19 dominated the headlines throughout 2020 and continues to be top of mind as employers work to ensure workplace health and safety. As a result of the pandemic, Cal/OSHA and other agencies implemented various laws and regulations to help employers navigate the crisis. While we hope the pandemic is officially vanquished in 2022, we can’t help but wonder what the year ahead will look like.

What were the top safety compliance priorities in 2021 for the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the Appeals Board, and the Standards Board here in California? What new regulations can we expect, and how will they impact your business?

You’ll get answers to these questions and more when Cal/OSHA 2021 kicks off, with critical updates on new court rulings, policy initiatives, regulatory enforcement, and training requirements under federal OSHA and Cal/OSHA. Will your California facility be able to stay in compliance with upcoming regulations?

After attending this session, you will be able to:

• Uncover all the laws and regulations impacting safety professionals in 2021.
• Identify possible impacts on Cal/OSHA as a result of the new Biden administration.
• Take steps to minimize Cal/OSHA citation risks given Cal/OSHA’s enforcement priorities.
• Apply lessons learned from 2021 Cal/OSHA enforcement data and trends, especially COVID-19-related.
• Recognize the impact of rulemaking, policy, and deregulatory developments for the coming year.

9:35 a.m. - 9:55 a.m.
Networking & Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
9:55 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.
Session 2 - How to Survive an OSHA Visit Sponsored by KPA

As most safety professionals know, a key component of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance and enforcement program is the inspection process. Although OSHA has a strong commitment to inspections, it’s not possible for the agency to inspect the millions of workplaces it covers annually; therefore, its investigators must prioritize among imminent-danger situations, fatalities/catastrophes, complaints, referrals, follow-ups, and planned/programmed investigations.

And every workplace is unique, as is each inspector. Refusing to consent to a voluntary inspection may lead the compliance safety and health officer to seek a warrant for a broader workplace inspection. Insisting on too many limits to the scope of an inspection can raise suspicions about potential violations. And do you know what the cost of an OSHA violation is? In 2021, it’s $13,653 per violation!

How do you think your company would fare if an OSHA inspector showed up tomorrow? If that idea makes you nervous, then you won’t want to miss this informative session!

KPA's OSHA expert will discuss:

• What triggers OSHA inspections;
• What to expect when OSHA shows up and how to respond;
• What your organization should have in place at all times to be prepared for an inspection;
• The steps OSHA compliance inspectors must follow during an inspection;
• How to appropriately participate actively (and passively) in an inspection;
• Strategies for handling requests for documents such as audits, accident investigations, and near-miss reports;
• How to best handle questions and interviews, especially those with employees;
• Strategic ways to handle the opening and closing conferences;
• Proven strategies for responding to citations, informal negotiations, and the formal appeals process;
• And more!

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Session 3 - Injury and Illness Prevention Plans: Avoiding the Top Cal/OSHA Violation with an Effectively Implemented Program

California law requires all employers to develop and implement written and effective IIPPs. This is a mandatory requirement, but year after year, it continues to be Cal/OSHA’s most violated standard. What makes this compliance requirement so challenging to meet?

This session will teach you how to create and develop a program that is effective in educating and empowering all employees in reducing or eliminating accidents and incidents through the use of risk assessment, employee engagement and communication, and active leadership support and involvement.

Our presenters will also explain the development and implementation of an IIPP and how to avoid compliance missteps in the Golden State.

You’ll also learn how to:

• Apply proven strategies for drafting and implementing an effective IIPP.
• Understand how an IIPP works.
• What belongs in an IIPP.
• Maintain complete, accurate, and compliant injury and illness records.

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Networking & Lunch with Exhibitors (Provided)
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Session 4 - Marijuana in California: Conducting Routine, Random, Reasonable Suspicion, and Postaccident Drug Testing without Violating Applicable, Federal, State, or Local Laws

Marijuana is becoming increasingly common in our society and in our workplace. Though medical marijuana has been legal in California since the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, the legalization of recreational marijuana has increased the number of times employers encounter situations with employees who are using or have used marijuana. Despite the continued validity of zero-tolerance policies, some California employers have begun to move away from the hard-and-fast rules and relax their drug testing policies, which could spell trouble for safety professionals tasked with keeping workers safe.

Outside of uniform preemployment drug testing, employers can only require drug tests of employees if there is a reasonable suspicion that the employees have been using drugs. This uniform application is where marijuana testing often hits a snag. Where does that leave employers seeking a drug-free workplace for safety reasons? Learn how to legally conduct post-accident drug testing in accordance with applicable California laws and conduct proper “reasonable suspicion” training in this engaging session.

You’ll also learn how to:

• Identify the circumstances in which Cal/OSHA may consider recreational or medical marijuana testing illegal retaliation.
• Recognize how Cal/OSHA’s post-incident drug testing rule interacts with other state and federal drug testing laws.
• Implement best practices for balancing competing safety and legal considerations when developing a drug testing strategy.
• Develop reasonable suspicion training for supervisors.
• Create a drug and alcohol testing policy that protects the safety and health of employees and the public.

2:05 p.m. - 3:05 p.m.
Session 5 - Business Continuity and Resilience: A Path to Resilience

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), 2020 saw a record-breaking U.S. wildfire season, which burned more than 10.2 million acres. California more than doubled its previous annual record for area burned (last set in 2018), with over 4.1 million acres. “In total, it is clear that 2020 stands head and shoulders above all other years in regard to the number of billion-dollar disasters,” says the NCEI in its billion-dollar disaster report.

Although California workplaces can’t control wildfires and other unexpected occurrences, employers can successfully survive such events, provided they invest the time and resources needed to be prepared. So, what actions should you take to be ready to combat a disaster in the Golden State? In this session, a safety expert will help you understand the importance of business continuity and how to remain resilient in times of crisis.

You’ll also learn:

• How to better prepare for “known & unknown” threats/vulnerabilities,
• Why business continuity is essential in building a resilient organization,
• How to identify critical processes that need immediate recovery during a crisis, and
• What technologies are available to increase preparedness, response, and recovery to natural disasters.

3:05 p.m. - 3:25 p.m.
Networking & Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
3:25 p.m. - 4:25 p.m.
Session 6—"Toolbox Talk"? How to Deliver an A-Plus Safety Training Experience

Which do you suppose a worker will remember more clearly: the weeklong safety course he or she completed 6 months ago, or the 15-minute safety chat the foreman gave at the beginning of the shift addressing the specific job tasks the worker would do that day?

If you guessed the 15-minute chat, you guessed correctly. These informal chats, also referred to as “toolbox talks” or “tailgate talks,” are worth conducting because of their immediacy and relevance, and they can also offer more bang for your safety training buck.

Brief toolbox talks can be plugged into busy production schedules to relay new safety precautions or reinforce the safety message. When giving such a talk before a shift begins, for example, you can present the information yourself, but you also want to make sure trainees are involved.

Learn how to conduct successful toolbox talks in this engaging session. You’ll also learn:

• The “5 Ps” of safety training;
• Why the “show and tell” method is perfect for knowledge retention;
• Which key performance indicators are needed to ensure safety training is effective;
• Other methods of providing safety training;
• How to conduct informal training sessions that comply with social distancing guidelines and other COVID-19-related safety precautions;
• The importance of documenting all training, including informal toolbox talks (i.e., with attendance sheets), if employers want it to count toward compliance with safety regulations, and
• The legal concerns to be aware of when offering informal training.

Main Conference - Day 2

October 15, 2021
7:15 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.
Breakfast with Exhibitors
8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
Session 7 - Safety Culture: How an Effective Safety Committee Can Be a Driver for Workplace Safety

Whether it is acknowledged or not, every company has a safety culture—and just like other aspects of organizational success, your safety culture will only be as strong as the efforts dedicated to it. One way to ensure your organization is operating safely is to develop a safety committee.

Having a safety committee can help reduce the number of workplace injuries and illnesses and workers’ compensation claims while bolstering your compliance with federal or state occupational safety and health regulations. Additionally, employers in California may use safety committees to satisfy the communication requirement of the IIPP standard.

This session will cover the pros and cons of using safety committees to ensure that your organization remains safe and compliant, and you’ll also learn:

• Strategies for creating a safety committee,
• Cal/OSHA safety committee requirements for employers that elect to use them,
• Best practices to satisfy communication requirements under the IIPP rule,
• How to develop an annual safety plan of action with specific goals, and
• How to identify the current values, attitudes, and perceptions surrounding safety at your organization—and how to change them if need be.

9:15 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.
Networking & Refreshments with Exhibitors—Raffle Prize Giveaway
9:40 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.
Session 8 - Workplace Violence Prevention: Policies and Practices for the Proposed General Industry Standard

In 2017, California became the first state to require all healthcare facilities to implement protective measures for workers who may be exposed to violence. This also prompted California to become the first state to issue general industry workplace violence rules. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the rulemaking process has been put on hold, but this doesn’t mean employers shouldn’t prepare for the rule’s eventual passing.

The proposed rule defines workplace violence as “any act of violence or threat of violence that occurs at the work site,” excluding “lawful acts of self-defense or defense of other(s).” The proposal would also require covered employers to develop a workplace violence prevention plan that includes specific processes and procedures for identifying and preventing violence in the workplace.

In this session, you’ll learn:

• The steps to take to develop a general workplace violence prevention plan,
• Key provisions for training employees on workplace violence prevention,
• What types of records you need to maintain to remain compliant under the proposed rule, and
• How to communicate your plan to workers.

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Session 9 - Using Leadership Behavior Assessments to Guide Leadership Training and Development

Achieving an ideal safety culture must actively involve all employees, and leaders play a particularly important role in influencing an organization’s safety culture, including the development of shared ownership for safety.

Although most employees feel leaders truly care about safety, there is still much that employees expect of leadership to help build an ideal safety culture. To show real support for safety, what leaders say about safety is not enough; what we do is most important. But what behaviors best demonstrate actively caring for safety? A number of assessments and cultural development projects have revealed what employees want to see from their leaders in order to show safety is important to them personally and for the organization.

For example, employees want their leaders to: 1) Show up by visiting site/work locations in person and talk to the people on the job; 2) get their hands dirty by getting out of the meeting rooms and into the production/operations areas to see firsthand the conditions, equipment, and procedures employees must deal with; 3) bring the checkbook, not simply to throw money at the problem but rather to demonstrate a willingness to provide the appropriate resources for tools, equipment, personnel, and scheduling to support safety; and 4) not blame people for system problems.

The identification of at-risk behavior should be the beginning of the analysis, not the end. Consider how employees might currently be inappropriately rewarded for risky behavior. Consider all contributing factors (e.g., training, production pressure, excessive overtime, formal and informal rules and procedures, and tools and equipment) when analyzing safety incidents.

This presentation will focus on the importance of leadership behaviors that improve the safety culture and demonstrate safety as a value, as well as behavior assessments that can help guide leadership training and development.

After this presentation, the audience will be able to:

• Describe the components of an ideal safety culture.
• Describe leadership’s role in supporting an ideal safety culture.
• Identify key leadership behaviors that show employees safety is important to leadership and to the organization.
• Describe how assessment tools, including surveys, focus group interviews, safety systems assessments, and leadership behavior assessments, can be used to guide leadership training and development.

11:45 a.m.
Conference Adjourns
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